The Missouri Farm Bureau’s annual market basket survey on the cost of Thanksgiving is out.  Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade speak with Diane Olson, Director of Promotion and Education Programs:

Diane Olson

A traditional meal for ten people has been estimated to cost $51.87, which breaks down to $5.18 per person.  Olsen said $4 of the total price increase of $4.46 comes from the price of the  turkey.  Olsen added that many specials will probably be held closer to Thanksgiving, which may help cancel out some of the price increase.

Press Release from the Missouri Farm Bureau

The house fills with aromas of a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal: turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pies and rolls. Family and friends join together to share food and fellowship during this season.

As you prepare for this celebration, you may wonder about the cost of this year’s Thanksgiving meal. According to the annual Marketbasket Survey conducted by the Missouri Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau, the cost of food items will show a slight increase.

The shopping list, enough food for 10 people, consists of a 16-lb. turkey, stuffing made with pre-seasoned cubes, heat-and-serve rolls with real butter, two pumpkin pies made with pumpkin pie mix and pre-made pie shells topped with real whipped cream, frozen green peas, fresh cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and a relish tray of carrots and celery. The beverage offerings are a gallon of whole milk and coffee.

This year’s survey was conducted in late October to garner prices that avoid the pre-Thanksgiving sales hype. The last few days before Thanksgiving find many grocery stores offering “loss leaders” (items priced below cost) to attract shoppers – a free turkey with a $50 order or buy-one-get-one-free offers.

Missouri shoppers found that items needed to prepare a meal for 10, and hopefully have leftovers, would cost $51.87, or $5.18 per person. Again, the cost would be lessened depending on the amount of food available to prepare additional meals.

The 2012 prices are $4.46 higher than the same items last year. The biggest jump came in turkey prices, which moved from an average of $1.21 per pound last year to $1.46 this year. This accounts for $4 of the difference between the two years when pricing a 16-lb. bird. The national average price per pound for turkeys was $1.39.

Recent market reports indicate on-farm production of turkeys has been relatively strong. The supply in cold storage is about 5 percent higher compared to a year ago. Shoppers may see the benefit of this supply as we move closer to Thanksgiving Day.

Missouri shoppers also found all three dairy items, milk, butter and whipping cream, rang in slightly higher. Other items costing slightly more included the pie shells, rolls, carrots and celery. Lower prices were found for the pumpkin pie mix, sweet potatoes, cubed stuffing mix and cranberries.

Weather events this year will likely be conversation starters at many gatherings this year. As we enjoy the bountiful meal, we should be mindful of the challenges farmers face each year to provide safe, abundant and nutritious food. Farmers work every day to provide food, clothing, shelter and so much more. When listing our blessings on this holiday and every day, be sure they are included.